People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Valerie Maud Budd (1898–1970)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

Valerie Maud Budd née Brett, formerly Townend (1898-1970) community worker and political activist

Birth: 1898 in Gulgong, New South Wales, daughter of Charles George Bernard Brett, agent, and Fanny May, née Little. Marriage: (1) 14 October 1915 at Paddington, to Alec Raymond Townend. The marriage ended in divorce on 4 December 1930. (2) 18 November 1933 at St Michael’s Anglican church, Surry Hills, Sydney, to Harold Leonard Budd (1891-1957), a NSW-born dancing instructor and insurance agent. They had one daughter. Death: 20 January 1970 in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, Sydney. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Prominent in the Botany branch of the Australian Labor Party and organiser of its younger set. In 1935, concerned that business girls on the basic wage needed affordable clothes for leisure, she formed a class for cutting and designing evening frocks. That year she was also involved in the annual spring ball of the combined Labor younger sets, for which her husband was master of ceremonies.
  • Vice-president of Women’s Central Organising Committee of the ALP in 1934.
  • President of the Malabar branch of the ALP in 1938, which supported the election of R. J. Heffron. She was a delegate to the Labor Unity Conference that year. In 1939 she was secretary of the Little Bay branch of the ALP and active in preventing evacuation of families at Bombora Point settlement, Yarra Bay.
  • In December 1935 she was appointed a justice of the peace. Became a member of the NSW Women Justices’ Association, of which she was press secretary in the 1950s. In 1953 she was active in the association urging government to safeguard patients in private hospitals and convalescent homes and in 1954 urging protection of deserted wives.
  • Cause of death: cardiogenic shock, myocardial infarction and hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

Labor Daily
(Sydney), 8 May 1934, p 8, 7 June 1935, p 14, 9 October 1936, p 14, 28 February 1938, p 10, and 26 April 1938, p 7; Sun (Sydney), 10 November 1935, p 7, and 17 September 1939, p 5, and 21 April 1953, p 3; Daily News (Sydney), 30 October 1939, p 5.

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Budd, Valerie Maud (1898–1970)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Townend, Valerie Maud
  • Brett, Valerie Maud

Gulgong, New South Wales, Australia


20 January, 1970 (aged ~ 72)
Camperdown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism